Financial advisor allegedly fleeced couple of $2m

A FORMER Maleny financial advisor is facing trial for dishonesty offences after he allegedly fleeced more than $2.4 million from a Perth couple who trusted him to build up their nest egg ahead of retirement.

Peter Hugh Mettam pleaded not guilty on Monday in the Brisbane District Court to seven dishonesty and fraud-related offences stemming from his interactions with the couple in 2002.

The court heard Lorna and Trevor Kyle entrusted Mr Mettam with $2,402,116 which was to be used for various investment options they had previously discussed.

But in the end the court heard the couple walked away with nothing.

Crown prosecutor Lincoln Crowley told the court it was the way Mr Mettam dealt with the money after it had been deposited into his account that was central to the case.

He said the money was used for other purposes, unbeknown to the couple, which resulted in the total loss of their investment.

"The Kyles transferred money into Mr Mettam's HSBC account at his request for investment purposes," he said.

"The accused then transferred money from his HSBC account into an ANZ account he held with his wife.

"It was while the money was in the ANZ account that the Crown alleges it was dealt with inappropriately."

Mr Crowley said the Kyles initially deposited $350,000USD into Mr Mettam's account after being told they had to act quickly or they would miss the opportunity.

He said after the initial deposit the couple travelled to Hawaii where Mr Mettam was hosting an investment seminar before investing additional sums of $1 million, $800,000 and $252,116 with him.

Mr Crowley said Mrs Kyle kept in regular contact with Mr Mettam and she would regularly ask him how the investments were going to which he would reply they were going well.

He said it was not until Mrs Kyle attended another investment seminar Mr Mettam was hosting, this time in New Caledonia, that she suspected their money had not been invested correctly.

Mr Crowley said after Mrs Kyle returned from New Caledonia she ramped up her efforts to get Mr Mettam to reveal details about where the couple's money had actually been invested.

But he said all correspondence to the financial advisor went unanswered.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.

- APN NEWSDESK.



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